Star Wars is more than a space saga of epic proportions (although it’s that, too)—for many, it’s a way of life. The franchise, set in a galaxy “far, far away” has created an undeniable buzz here on Earth since the day it first hit the big screen in 1977 (back when there was no episode title attached to the film) that has only seemingly gotten stronger over the decades. While the various episodes in the larger-than-life series have been few and far between in more recent times, the loyalty and passion of Star Wars fans has seldom faltered. 

During this time each year, Star Wars geeks all across the vast universe rejoice on May 4, the official Star Wars holiday (appropriately referred to by many as “May the Fourth”). This year, that trend will certainly continue, although the latest edition of Star Wars Day will just be the beginning of the celebration. You see, as many of you are well aware, the Star Wars saga will continue with the highly anticipated release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens in December. There’s a lot of time between now and then—we know this. But now is the time to refresh your memory of the Expanded Universe for those of you need it, and, for the hardcore fans, a chance to enjoy the Empire in all its dark glory. Here’s everything you need to get you pumped up for Star Wars Day and to hold you over until the new film drops.